O'Reilly logo

The Big Book of Realistic Drawing Secrets by Carrie Stuart Park

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Smudging Techniques

To make your drawings look more lifelike, you’ll want to blend your pencil strokes for realistic shading. I call this technique smudging.

I remember taking a composite drawing class a number of years ago with an accomplished and well-known instructor. He paused at my desk and stared in horror as I smudged my drawing, finally grabbing the offending tool from my hand.

“Don’t smudge!” he said. “You’re grinding the graphite into your paper and you’ll never be able to erase it!” He then walked away, taking my stump with him.

He was right. Smudging your drawing does indeed grind the lead into the paper, making it difficult if not impossible to “clean back out” to create the lights. I pondered his reasoning for the rest of the ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required